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Jane Fortune

Biography

Cultural editor and columnist of The Florentine, Tuscany’s English-language news magazine, Dr. Jane Fortune is author of To Florence, Con Amore: 77 Ways to Love the City and Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence, presented at the Uffizi Library in perpetuity in 2009. She has co-authored several art publications including Orate Pro Pictora and The Restoration of a Masterpiece: Artemisia Gentileschi. Her two upcoming books, with Linda Falcone, focus on women sculptors in Florence and in Italy and on newly discovered works by women artists in Florence’s civic storehouses.

In her role as Founder and Chair of Advancing Women Artists, Jane is an advocate for artistic preservation, social advancement and civic engagement. Her counsel has guided prestigious institutions and programs in the United States and Italy, her contributions have unlocked new opportunities in artistic, scientific and humanitarian endeavors and her passionate leadership has engaged new support for many worthwhile causes.

Dedicated to the advancement of women artists world-wide, Jane is especially active in Florence, Italy, where she lives for part of the year. In Italy she is known as ‘Indiana Jane’ for her efforts to rescue and restore lesser known—equally important works by women painters and sculptors. Dr. Fortune has personally underwritten the restoration of several Italian works of art held in museums in Florence, including Artemisia Gentileschi’s David and Bathsheba; two lunettes by Suor Plautilla Nelli, titled Saint Catherine receives the Stigmata and Saint Dominic receives the Rosary; and Irene Duclos’s Copy of Andrea del Sarto’s Madonna del Sacco, the only work by a woman in the Accademia.

Jane has served on several museum boards and is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and a member of the National Advisory Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington DC. She is founder and chair of The Florence Committee of NMWA, a not-for-profit Florentine association created in 2006.  Dr. Fortune is a former member of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was past chair of the board of trustees of Studio Arts Center International (SACI) in Florence. At present, she also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board at Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, Indiana and the Board of Trustees of the Medici Archives Project (Florence, Italy), establishing the ‘Jane Fortune Research Program on Women Artists in the Age of the Medici’ at the Medici Archives project.

Hear Jane Fortune Talk about giving:

Jane Fortune from Herron School of Art and Design on Vimeo.

She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Indiana University and is a Founding Member of the university’s Women’s Philanthropy Council. Dr. Fortune is the Co-founder and Vice-chair of the Indianapolis City Ballet (ICB), a not for profit organization dedicated to bringing professional ballet to Indianapolis through gala-style performances and master classes with the world’s most renowned ballet stars.

In 2007, the Indianapolis Mayor’s Advisory Council on Disabilities awarded Jane their Accessibility Award for her exceptional commitment to furthering accessibility and inclusion to persons with disabilities. Maxwell Anderson—the Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art— nominated her for the Accessibility Award for her leadership and financial support of the museum’s accessibility program. She is former Chairman of the Board of the Deafness Research Foundation in New York City and its volunteer President/CEO. In 2008, Dr. Fortune received the ‘Spirit of Philanthropy Award’ from Indiana University, Purdue University (IUPUI),  the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis Dr. Fortune was also co-founder of USArtists, an American Fine Art Show and Sale, which benefits the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Philadelphia). She was founder of the same organization’s Special Needs Program which resulted in the establishment of a Women’s Board Endowed Scholarship at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a scholarship for persons with disabilities to attend the PAFA’s art school.

She frequently speaks about her work as an author and philanthropist. She has given lectures and presentations or participated in panel-discussions at the following Florentine venues: San Salvi, Museum of Andrea del Sarto, San Marco Museum, the Uffizi Library, the Palatina Gallery, the U.S. Consulate, Villa Palmerino, the Lions Club and Network at Syracuse University (Florence), in addition to speaking at The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Portland Community College (Florence) and the Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis).

Books by Jane

Interviews / Articles / Reviews

  • “Congratulations Jane! TF’s own becomes Doctor of Humane Letters” (The Florentine  issue 124/2010)
  • Making the Invisible Visible: Jane Fortune brings women’s art to light” book review by Alexandra Korey (The Florentine issue 113/2009) & book giveaway on ArtTrav.
  • “Indiana Jane Strikes Again: an interview with Jane Fortune” by Alexandra Lawrence – Part I & Part II (The Florentine issue 110/2009 and 111/2009)
  • Herron School of Art and Design donor profile
  • Florence con Amore - blog post by Barbara on The Espresso Break (Feb. 20, 2010)
  • Restoration of Artemisia Gentileschi’s David & Betsabea sponsored by The Florence Committee of National Museum of Women in the Arts – article by Mara Amorevoli in La Repubblica Firenze (November 28, 2008)
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